All posts tagged: habitat changes

A counterintuitive effect of global warming

A counterintuitive effect of global warming

[ad_1] This is an edition of Time-Travel Thursdays, a journey through The Atlantic’s archives to contextualize the present and surface delightful treasures. Sign up here. In a 1998 Atlantic cover story, William H. Calvin offered perhaps the best oceanography lesson to appear in a major national magazine. It was also a call for concern: He drew on the research of the legendary Columbia University climate scientist Wallace Broecker to explain the relationship between ocean currents and the climate, and warn about a rather counterintuitive tipping point that our age of global warming could cause. By warming the planet, humanity might kick off a disastrous oceanographic flip-flop. A part of the great underwater conveyor belt called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, better known as AMOC, could shut down, he wrote. Enormous inputs of freshwater from melting northern ice or warming-induced rainfall in the high latitudes could dilute the salty Atlantic Ocean and change the temperature balance, throwing off the pace of the North Atlantic Current, which makes up a section of AMOC’s global journey. Instead of …